Ezra Koenig: Believe in Your Selfie
Vampire Weekend singer defends the youth against accusations of Instagram narcissism (via Rolling Stone)
This week, Oxford Dictionaries announced that its 2013 Word of the Year is “selfie.” One person who was less than thrilled about the choice is Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig. “You know, I got really excited about the word ‘selfie’ in 2012. So when I see that it’s the word of the year in 2013, I feel like, ‘Tell me about some new words!’”
Koenig is firmly in favor of selfies. "I’m definitely pro-selfie," he says. "I think that anybody who’s anti-selfie is really just a hater. Because, truthfully, why shouldn’t people take pictures of themselves? When I’m on Instagram and I see that somebody took a picture of themselves, I’m like, ‘Thank you.’ I don’t need to see a picture of the sky, the trees, plants. There’s only one you."
Adds Koenig, "I could Google image search ‘the sky’ and I would probably see beautiful images to knock my socks off. But I can’t Google, you know, ‘What does my friend look like today?’ For you to be able to take a picture of yourself that you feel good enough about to share with the world – I think that’s a great thing."
The singer is scornful of those who see selfie-snapping as a sign of narcissism. "There’s all this bullshit about ‘the younger kids today are more self-absorbed,’" he says. "It’s like, give me a fucking break! I’ve been in nursing homes, where my grandma is. I’ve seen some of the most selfish people on the planet in there… And the world that these kids are born into literally could not get more selfish. The world is so fucked-up and unequal and full of assholes. You can’t blame it on the younger generation."
Koenig was unaware of “Selfies at Funerals,” the recent Tumblr collecting selfies taken at what some see as an inappropriate place. “No, I didn’t hear about that," he says. “But you know what? When I die, everybody is invited to come take a selfie at my funeral. Except for my enemies. They’re not invited to the funeral, period.”
Hello! This is a common question and before I learnt more and more about the different animal industries, I wondered the same thing. I thought shearing was actually kind to animals - I thought they had to be shorn or they’d overheat, or be weighed down or something.
The truth is, most wool comes from Australia with one special breed of sheep - the Merino. This beautiful animal is another example of how humans have selectively bred domestic creatures in order to exploit them. Many even die of heat exhaustion before they get a chance to be shorn.
Wild sheep, such as Mouflon, have very different ‘wool’ than our modern farmyard sheep breeds. They grow just enough to keep them warm, and when spring returns they shed it out, like most animals. However we have completely controlled how sheep today ‘work’.
The Merino sheep have a series of folds in the skin that serve no purpose except to make them ‘woolier’. These folds cause a lot of problems as bacteria and dirt collect in them, which can cause skin conditions, become infected, or are rubbed raw and begin to bleed. This attracts flies to lay their eggs in the cuts, causing flystrike, and they proceed to eat the animal alive.
Mulesing and other procedures
Not only is this horrible in itself (an animal has basically been made sicker purely for profit - so more wool can be harvested), but in a ridiculous attempt to PREVENT flystrike, workers actually cut off skin around the backside of the animal, leaving it bloody and exposed. This is called mulesing. This is supposed to remove the wool and the folds of the skin around the bum, so that it doesn’t collect with faeces and therefore encourage flies. However not only is this often done without anaesthetic (no industry would waste money medicating these animals), but it actually causes problems. Huge, exposed, raw bloody wounds are a beacon for parasites and bacteria. Many animals, if they survive the shock of this process (it is usually done when they are just baby lambs), die from bloodloss or subsequent infection. Humane alternatives to treat flystrike do exist.
Other procedures performed without anesthesia include punching a hole in the ears of lambs several weeks after birth, docking their tails and castrating the males. The castrations are done when the male lambs are between 2 and 8 weeks old, with the use of a rubber ring to cut off their blood supply.
Another major issue is how the wool is harvested. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. “[T]he shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals … I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off …”
Sheep are sheared in the spring, just before they would naturally shed their winter coats. Because shearing too late would mean a loss of wool, most sheep are sheared while it is still too cold. An estimated one million sheep die every year of exposure after premature shearing.
Holding pens and live export
When the wool production of sheep declines, they are sold for slaughter. Millions of lambs and sheep are exported for slaughter each year. In Australia they have to travel long distances before reaching very crowded feedlots, where they are held before being loaded onto ships. Many sheep die in the holding pens.
Those who survive the holding pens are packed tightly into ships. Lambs born during the trip are often trampled to death. A lot of sheep get injured or die.
Animals shipped live from Australia can be confined on vessels for up to three weeks – that is 504 consecutive hours.
- Sheep are transferred from a pasture-based diet to concentrated pellets – a change which some animals reject. Failure to eat can lead to salmonellosis and even death, with around half of sheep mortalities occurring this way.
- Animal waste generates ammonia gas which, in high concentrations on board ships, can irritate the animals’ eyes, nasal cavities and respiratory tracts, resulting in lacrimation (crying), coughing and nasal discharge.
- Tens of thousands of animals die every year in transit, yet the live export industry argues that it is achieving good welfare outcomes because these animal deaths are a small proportion of the total shipped. The fact remains that as many as 20,000 sentient animals die at sea from disease or injury each year. Their deaths are no less tragic or unethical because their peers survived.
In Europe they have to travel long distances in tightly packed trucks without food or water. They are frequently exported to countries with minimal slaughter regulations and where the sheep are often conscious while being dismembered.
The truth is, no wool can be deemed as humane. Whether or not yours came from Australia, the fact is that all sheep - like many of our domestic animals - have been grossly manipulated solely to provide more profits. They are mistreated, they undergo medical exams and surgery with no pain relief, they are often left exposed to the elements on high grounds in poor climates or kept in concrete paddocks, and they are slaughtered at a fraction of their usual lifespan, as soon as their production declines.
1. HORMONES MAKE TEAR PRODUCTION HARDER FOR MEN, EASIER FOR WOMEN.
Think men don’t cry as often because they’re “strong” or lack emotion? Well, you can’t cry if you don’t have the tears to do it. Before puberty, girls and boys cry in equal amounts, and for pretty much the exact same reasons. When puberty hits and we get our hormones on (testosterone for the fellas and prolactin for ladies), our ability to PRODUCE tears changes. Testosterone may inhibit tear production in men, while prolactin actually makes crying easier (and encourages it) for women. Though the experience of feeling emotion may be exactly the same between the sexes, men’s bodies are simply less likely to produce tears as a response (while women’s bodies may produce them automatically, especially in response to stress). This hormonal difference also means that in situations where men & women BEGIN to cry, men may be able to shut down the reflex more easily, whereas women may have a much harder time holding them back. Women with especially high prolactin levels (preggers, post-preggers, hormonally imbalance like me, etc) may find they can cry almost indefinitely when emotions run high. I call it “leaking”, lol. In general, women are QUEENS of the “good, long cry”. Women may produce more tears than normal when depressed/anxious because of higher levels of tear producing stress hormone.
For men trying to understand a female cry response, it’s kind of like a boner for your eyeballs: sometimes it happens for no reason and you can’t shut it off right away EVEN when you desperately wanna. That’s not to say women are emotionally irrational or somehow unable to function when crying: we just have a physical response to emotion that makes us more likely to express it with tears. Tears (or lack of tears) are also NOT an indicator of depth of feeling or lack of emotion: a man can be devastated and simply be unable to produce tears (or will produce just a few). A woman can be mildly upset or stressed and cry whole heartedly.
Huh. That explains some things.
Reblogging to add more sources: Is it true that women’s tears contain an enzyme that can be released only by crying, meaning they are quicker to cry under emotional stress?
Tears of Men and Women Are Different; Why It Can Be Hard to Avoid Choking Up
Do women cry more than men? (via maichan808)
Speaking as a transman who has started testosterone, this is absolutely true. I would start crying much more easily pre-t and now it’s damnably hard to start, especially in situations where I just want a good cry like I used to.